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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Sep 7, 1998

HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE THE HIV VIRUS BEFORE IT TURNS INTO THE AIDS VIRUS?

Response from Dr. Cohen

The HIV virus (actually, HIV stands for human immunodeficiency VIRUS - so HIV virus is redundant...) does not "turn into" the AIDS virus - AIDS is a point that happens to people who have HIV infection (with the HIV virus). After a time, when untreated, HIV infection causes damage to the immune system. On average, after about 10 years (tho some it is shorter, and some it is longer), that damage is so much that a person can get sick - and there are about two dozen illnesses that are all together called AIDS. But it is all done by one virus -- HIV.

hope that clarifies. There are sections on this web site that review the basics in more detail if you need more.

CC


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